Gordon MP Richard Thomson has condemned the Conservative UK Government for removing more than £1.3billion in post-Brexit funding from Scotland while Ireland is benefitting by almost a billion Euros from the EU’s Brexit fund.
During the Brexit referendum campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Michael Gove promised the Scottish Government would be given £1.5bn in funding to spend on Scottish priorities when the UK left the EU.
Latest figures show that, so far, only £172million in so-called ‘levelling up' cash has been allocated – a massive £1.3 billion less than that referendum promise. In addition, 21 of Scotland’s 32 council areas have received not a single penny, equating to almost £530 per household in Scotland.
In contrast, it has been announced that Ireland, as an independent member of the EU, is receiving a financial injection from Brussels of almost a billion Euros to help mitigate the impact of Brexit through economic support, job creation and training.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“Previously, EU structural funds contributed to projects across all local authorities while now they are forced to compete with each other and two thirds have received no funding at all. The Conservatives have consistently failed to deliver on their Brexit promises and are now leaving the devolved governments and councils in the dark.
“The Conservative government’s continued short-changing of Scotland through crucial post-Brexit funding is shameful.
“We had a situation in the 1990s – which we only learned about recently when secret government papers were revealed under the 30-year rule – where the then Conservative Government diverted funding meant for the North of Scotland into Tory marginal seats in the South of England. The same thing seems to be happening again with money which is supposed to go to our own democratically-elected Parliament so it can set spending priorities on behalf of the nation.
"While the people of Scotland are being short-changed, the contrast with how Ireland is treated, as an independent member of the EU, could not be more striking. A billion Euros will make a massive difference to the Irish economy while Scotland continues to suffer under a disastrous hard Brexit we did not vote for.
"It's clear beyond any doubt that Westminster is not acting in Scotland's interest and the only way to properly protect our interests is to have control of our own finances."